Emails: Pritzker’s office unaware Confederate Railroad had been booked for months

Confederate Railroad. (Photo: ConfederateRailroad.com)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A southern rock band whose logo features the Confederate flag was booked for the DuQuoin State Fair for two months before Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s staff learned of the gig and abruptly canceled it.

Emails and text messages obtained by The Associated Press show that Confederate Railroad’s Aug. 27 appearance was canceled by the Agriculture Department just a day after the fair’s lineup was announced June 17.

Pritzker’s office says it has an unwritten policy against using tax money to support emblems representing hate or racism.

A $7,500 contract was signed in mid-April. A political blogger asked a Pritzker spokeswoman on June 17 whether it was appropriate.

The contract was voided the next day.

Confederate Railroad frontman Danny Shirley said in an email that the name was never intended “as a political or racial statement.”

By JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer

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